I promise not to make a habit of this, but it looks like another abbreviated week with picks. Tonight will look the same as always, but with family coming into town this weekend, it’ll look like last week with simply the game and a final prediction.
Not that I’m complaining, though, ’cause everything worked out alright last week–we finished 8-6 for the weekend, bumping that overall up to 41-36. Improvement, people! We’re seeing improvement.
Anyway, back to business as usual.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans–Thursday, 8:30pm
The in-state rivalry dictated that I must pick against the Black and Gold, and all things considered, I probably would’ve done the same if I was impartial to that matchup. It almost worked out in my favor–I’ll save my bitterness over a couple of MV7-fumbles and the last second field goal. OK, so I couldn’t help it, but it really would’ve been nice to get that W and be at 4-1.
The Steelers survived an early-season must-win situation to get back to .500 following their bye-week. Now they travel to Tennessee to face a Titans team that they’ve beaten three straight times dating back to 2009. It’s a highly favorable matchup for Pittsburgh, considering the direction that these two teams are going, but the short week could play a sizable role in this one–Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley are out with injuries (Polamalu seems to be breaking down if you ask me. He hasn’t played in consecutive games yet this season, and has only one completely healthy season, a.k.a. 16 games played, since 2009… Clock’s ticking…), and the aged defense in general has less time to recover.
Different story on the other side of the ball for Pittsburgh. Having Rashard Mendenhall back on the field takes a great deal of pressure off of Big Ben. They’ll be taking on the worst points-defense in the league; the Titans are giving up 36 points per game through the first five weeks.
Any chance the Titans are going to have rests on the shoulders of Matt Hasselbeck, who will make his third straight start replacing the injured Jake Locker. Chris Johnson continues to put up pathetic numbers out of the backfield, and has told the media that he doesn’t think his team is anywhere close to being successful, or good, or competitive. Great attitude for a man barely two years removed from 2k.
The Steelers have some odd trends to overcome in this one: Tennessee is 7-2 against Pittsburgh at home since their move to Nashville in 1997; the Titans haven’t lost three games in a row since a six-game skid in 2010; and Pittsburgh is win-less on the road so far this season–and those losses were to teams they should have handled, Denver (2-3) in Week 1 and Oakland (1-3) in Week 3.
All things said, this should be a rout. Steelers win 38-13